TAMPA, Fla. – Saint Leo dropped a heartbreaker in extra innings on Friday night to the University of Tampa, 6-5, in the first of a three-game series. Saint Leo (15-7, 0-4 SSC) led the Spartans 5-2 going into the eighth inning, but Tampa tied it at five and later won it in the 11th.
Michael Revell led the squad at the plate tonight with four hits and an RBI. Next in line was Daniel Torres who tallied three hits while also driving in a run. Collecting two hits on the evening was Chris Newcomb and Taed Moses.
Brent Krauss went seven innings on the hill, allowing just four hits and two earned runs while striking out seven.
The Lions started off the game just the way they wanted—but it wasn't the usual manufacturing of runs that gave Saint Leo the lead. Newcomb belted the second pitch of the game over the leftfield wall to give an early advantage.
In the second inning Saint Leo was able to tack on a second run when Torres brought home Blake Turner who had reached on a base hit.
The Lions struck for two runs in the top of the sixth when a couple more hits were strung together. Newcomb got the inning started with a base hit and Moses continued it with a single of his own that brought home Newcomb. The next batter, Revell singled to right field to bring home the second run of the inning to give Saint Leo a 4-2 lead. An inning later, Taylor Perez led off the inning with a walk and was eventually brought home on an error on a Spartan defender.
After seven innings of work Coach O'Connor went to the bullpen and brought in Brandon Terry for the eighth inning with the Lions leading 5-2. After Drew Doty reached base on a single and two more runners reached base on a fielder's choice and a walk, the Lions faced a bases loaded situation with two away. The next play, Jacob Tillotson sent one into the right-center gap that cleared the bases and tied the game at five runs apiece.
In extra innings the Lions threatened in the 11th with a leadoff base hit but were unable to get the runner in scoring position to set up a potential scoring situation.
In the bottom half of the inning the Spartans got started with a single up the middle and the next batter, Connor Obrochta, reached base after being hit by a pitch while attempting to lay down a bunt. Matthew Hewitt struck out the next Spartan batter for the first out of the inning, and with runners on first and third, the Lions intentionally walked Doty. With the bases loaded Tyler Ding connected with his third hit of the night on a ground ball through the right side to bring home the game-winning run for Tampa.
The Lions get right back in action tomorrow afternoon for a doubleheader with the Spartans. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. with the second game coming approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.